Yoga Therapy for Musicians
Yoga Therapy provides multiple techniques for musician self-care, coping with stress, and injury prevention due to overuse: nerve stretches for neck, arms, and shoulders, gentle yoga therapy to relieve chronic neck and back pain, and breathing techniques for singers as well as for instrumentalists. Fine-Tuned Yoga™ is offered as customized, individual yoga therapy sessions with a C-IAYT yoga therapist, including assessment and regular follow-up to meet the specific therapeutic needs of musicians and singers in the Bloomington Indiana community and Jacobs School of Music.
Fine-Tuned Yoga™ is focused on the individual musician with the intention of bringing them ‘in tune’ with their body. So often in music the vehicle for making music —the body— is pushed to the limit, at times to the extent that the musician or singer must stop playing/singing for a period of time, or cease to perform altogether. The latter is often preventable, yet those in the world of music tend to ignore warning signs due to the competitive nature of the industry, commitment to a public performance or unwillingness to fail others in a musical group or orchestra. Yoga can be a reminder to a tired musician to listen to their body. As a wise man known to history as the Buddha once said: 'Live like the strings of a fine instrument… Not too taut yet not too loose.'
Within each yoga therapy session, professional musicians and music students benefit from a combination of movement therapy, structural alignment, gentle nerve stretching, and a whole-person approach to therapeutic rehabilitation— addressing not only the structural and physiological issues associated with their profession, but also providing mental focus techniques and self-care techniques in order to reduce muscle strain and overuse, reduce occurrences of numbness, carpal tunnel and dystonia (cramping or spasms in arms and hands due to overuse), as well as coping with stress and fatigue (Study: Effects of a yoga lifestyle intervention on performance-related characteristics of musicians). For singers, specific yoga therapy breathing exercises (pranayama) are helpful in learning to use the breath fully and naturally, releasing the diaphragm, and finding a 'center' from which to project one's voice.
Contact us for information on individualized yoga therapy programs to help prevent conditions such as musicians focal dystonia (MFD), increase breath capacity, learn correct posture and ameliorate pain syndromes associated with overuse and repetitive movements. Sessions are provided at the client's location, as well as during practice session or rehearsals with prior arrangement. We are a C-IAYT certified yoga therapist with experience playing several instruments, and specializing in yoga therapy for neurological conditions and neuromuscular disorders, disability, and rehabilitation, as well as providing therapeutic bodywork and comprehensive therapy programs.
YOGA IS LIKE MUSIC
Asana practice should be a harmonious experience, never a struggle. The manner of breathing into a wind instrument — a flute, for instance — can create either a grating screech or a melodious song. The body, too, is an instrument. If used skillfully, as in the unison of movement and breath, the resulting posture is a useful and harmonious experience. When performed with the graceful orchestration of all its parts, asana can become a music of the body, breath, and mind. Such music moves everything it touches. __A.G. Mohan (Svastha Yoga)